Between The Lines

Between The Lines

Its covers were crafted from tooled leather and the pages edged in gold.

The moment she cracked the spine, darkness spilled into her lap, scurried down her arm, and dashed across the vestibule.

Fiddlesticks. She couldn’t catch it, but neither could she let it run free. There was nothing to do but confess.

“Papa,” she called from her cushion on the divan.

He looked up from his writing desk. “Yes, Talia?”

No sense pretending. “I opened one of the Vermillion Volumes.”

He cam to sit beside her. “Which way did it go?”

She pointed.

“And where did it mark you?”

She hung her head and pushed her sleeve up to expose the blister.

He smoothed his thumb over the angry welt until it began to recede. “You must try a little harder to resist the Chronicles of the Forbidden, daughter, or far scarier things than nasty little hobgoblins will escape into this world.”

“Yes, Papa.” She snuggled close. “Why would anyone write a bad story?”

“Perhaps they don’t set out to write one, my little love. Perhaps between the lines, their lives seep into their work

“I don’t understand.”

“Imagine a story as a forest. The flowers are the characters, colorful and enchanting. The trees are the structure, rooted deep and rising to the heavens. The twilit haze is – -”

“That’s where the hobgoblins live, right, Papa?”

“Yes, and that is why you must always shine light into a story, so that every aspect is illuminated and every hobgoblin vanquished.”

“I promise to be a better reader, Papa.”

“I believe you will be, Buttercup, and quite possibly grow up into a lovely writer as well. Now, let’s go hobgoblin hunting!”